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Heartland Outdoors

IDNR announces Land and Water Conservation Grants

Mon, December 18, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced $1,270,500 in federal grant funding has been approved for local governments to purchase land to be used for public access and recreation.  Funding for the program is made available through the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“These federal grants provide local governments the opportunity to buy land that will allow more public access to outdoor recreation opportunities close to home for local residents and visitors to these communities,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal.

The LWCF grant program, which is administered in Illinois by the IDNR, provides up to 50 percent of the cost of projects to help purchase land to be used for public access, with the local governments matching the value of the grants awarded.

This year’s LWCF grant projects are outlined below.

Champaign County
• Champaign Park District, $137,000, for the acquisition of Human Kinetics Park, a 5.6-acre park that is privately owned but currently leased to the Champaign Park District.  It will be developed into soccer fields, a multi-purpose field, a multi-purpose path and parking.

Cook County
• Glenview Park District, $383,500, for the acquisition of 2.95 acres of property adjacent to the Grove National Historic Landmark.  This critical parcel is needed to reassemble the original acreage owned by the Kennicott Family and preserve the ecosystem on the property.  Trails will be established on this property to connect to the existing trail system.

Kane County
• Forest Preserve District of Kane County, $750,000, for the acquisition of 149 acres adjacent to the Binnie Forest Preserve.  Acquiring this property will add further protections to the wetlands on site and the Kishwaukee Headwaters.  Wetlands and floodplains will be interpreted through signage and trails.

The LWCF grant program has been in existence since 1965. Prior to this year, more than $126 million has been awarded for 733 park projects in Illinois.


Kansas City angler hooks state-record skipjack herring

Tue, December 12, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Craig Barulich of Kansas City became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he hooked a skipjack herring on the Missouri River using a rod and reel.

The new “pole and line” skipjack herring record caught by Barulich on Nov. 12 weighed 3 pounds. It broke the previous state record of 2 pounds, 11 ounces. Barulich was using a 3/8-ounce white Bink’s Pro Series Spoon for bait trying to catch walleye and saugers when he caught the skipjack herring.

“The day I caught the state-record skipjack herring was the day I actually caught my first skipjack,” Barulich said. “I was so grateful that day to just catch skipjack that I didn’t even know I caught a state record fish until I got home.”

Barulich noticed how large one of the skipjack herrings was when he was taking it out of the cooler to freeze it for catfish bait.

“I weighed the large skipjack and googled to confirm that my fish was a possible state record,” he said.

MDC staff weighed Barulich’s skipjack herring on a certified scale at the Kansas City regional office and confirmed it was a new pole-and-line state-record skipjack herring.

“I am so honored and humbled to hold a state record here in Missouri,” Barulich said. “Just thinking about holding a record for a unique fish makes me speechless.”

Anglers often catch skipjack herring to use for bait. The fish is boney, lacking in flavor, and is seldom used as food. But it fights spectacularly when hooked and can provide considerable sport on light tackle. The oil present in its flesh is said by fishermen to attract catfish. Skipjacks can usually be found in swift water below dams and around the ends of wing dikes.

Barulich said he plans on using the fish for catfish bait and having someone make a replica of the state-record skipjack herring.

Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.

For more information on state-record fish, visit the MDC website at

state record 2017 herring


Iowa DNR News

Thu, December 07, 2017

DNR looking for deer tissue samples from specific areas as it monitors for chronic wasting disease

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to collect deer tissue samples from willing hunters as part of its effort to monitor for and track the presence of chronic wasting disease.

The Iowa DNR’s wildlife staff has a goal of collecting 5,465 samples. The bulk of Iowa’s deer harvest occurs during the two shotgun seasons which provide an opportunity to collect a significant number of tissue samples. Most samples are obtained by wildlife staff, checking with hunters in the field or at home processing points.

“We’ve had really good cooperation from our hunters so our focus now is collecting samples from some pretty specific areas within our target counties in order to reach our quotas,” said Terry Haindfield, wildlife biologist with the Iowa DNR leading the CWD collection effort.

He said the DNR is looking for samples from deer harvested from the southeast quarter of Allamakee County; the northwest quarter of Clayton County; the northwest quarter of Winneshiek County; and the northeast quarter of Howard County. In western Iowa, the DNR needs samples from each county along the Missouri River.

“Hunters willing to provide a sample should call their local wildlife biologist to see if the county or area where the deer was taken has filled its quota or is still in need of a sample,” he said.

The DNR lists the cell phone numbers for its wildlife biologists on p. 45 of the hunting regulations. Hunters from the targeted areas needing additional help making contact to provide a sample can call Haindfield at 563-380-3422.

All counties have a quota of at least 15 samples, with an increased quota and collection effort in portions of northeast and eastern Iowa near Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, in each county bordering the Missouri River west of I-29, and south-central Iowa near Missouri, where CWD has been detected.

Additional testing is been conducted in Pottawattamie, Cerro Gordo and Davis counties, following positive tests from captive facilities.  The disease has been found in every state around Iowa.

Since testing began in 2002, more than 62,500 tissue samples have been collected and tested looking for the presence of CWD in Iowa’s wild deer herd.

CWD is a neurological disease belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases.  It attacks the brain of infected deer and elk causing the animals to lose weight, display abnormal behavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infected animal.

The disease first appeared in Iowa’s wild deer herd in 2013 and each year since, the DNR has placed extra emphasis to find the extent to which disease is in the area, and to help slow the spread by removing additional adult deer from the local population.

The Iowa DNR has more information about CWD and other infectious disease online at

Media Contact: Terry Haindfield, Wildlife Management Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 563-380-3422.

Iowa deer harvest ahead of 2016 -

The 2017 Iowa deer harvest is running 4.5 percent ahead of the 2016 totals. So far this fall, 55,793 deer have been reported, compared to 53,191 for the same period last year.

Iowa’s 2017 deer hunting options enters the late stages with the second shotgun season opening Saturday (Dec. 9-17), followed by the late muzzleloader season and archery season, both of which are Dec. 18-Jan. 10, 2018.

Late muzzleloader deer season opens Dec. 18

Iowa’s late muzzleloader deer season begins Dec. 18, which is the final season that any-deer licenses are available.

Nearly 40,000 hunters participated in the late muzzleloader season in 2016 and the DNR expects similar numbers again this year. Archery season also re-opens on Dec. 18 so bow hunters with unfilled tags will likely be heading back to their tree stands as well.

Hunters hunting with firearms are required to wear blaze orange during the late muzzleloader season but party hunting is not allowed. 

Iowa’s second shotgun ends on Dec. 17.

If hunters are seeing fewer deer where they hunt they may want to refrain from harvesting extra does. Hunters should check with landowners to see if deer numbers are at an acceptable level and tailor their harvest accordingly.

Hunters are reminded to report their harvest within 24 hours of recovering their deer. This information is an important part of the data needed to manage Iowa’s deer herd.

Nonresident Holiday Deer Season

The nonresident holiday deer season is Dec. 24-Jan. 2, and is open in counties where the nonresident antlerless deer license quotas have not filled. Licenses for this season are on sale starting Dec. 15.

Antlerless licenses for the nonresident holiday deer season is $78, which is below the regular nonresident antlerless license fee of $228. The season was created to be an affordable option for individuals who come home to Iowa for the holiday to have the opportunity to go hunting while they are back.

Nonresidents must have a valid Iowa hunting license and habitat stamp in addition to the deer license. More information is available online at

2018 hunting, fishing licenses on sale Dec. 15

Iowans can start buying 2018 resident hunting, fishing and other licenses on December 15. Licenses purchased for 2017 expire on Jan. 10.

The menu of license options includes the popular Outdoor Combo annual resident hunting/fishing/habitat combo license for $47; the Angler’s Special three-year fishing license for $53; and the Hunter’s Special three-year hunting license with habitat included for $86.

Also available is the Bonus Line option for $12 letting resident and nonresident anglers to fish with one additional line in addition to the two lines allowed with the regular fishing license.

Hunting and fishing are often enjoyed with family and friends. A fishing or hunting would make a great stocking stuffer. Licenses are available at nearly 900 locations across the state, and on the DNR website at

Nonresidents may begin purchasing 2018 licenses on Jan. 1.



MDC reports more than 7,700 deer harvested

Thu, December 07, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 7,728 deer during the antlerless portion of the fall firearms deer season, which ran Dec. 1-3. Top harvest counties were Callaway with 250, Macon with 212, and Pike with 205 deer checked. Last year’s harvest total was 6,503.

MDC reduced the length of the antlerless portion of fall firearms deer season starting in 2016 from 12 to three days so harvest numbers prior to 2016 are not comparable to this season.

For the latest preliminary deer harvest totals by county and portion, visit MDC’s website at

Archery deer hunting continues through Jan. 15, 2018. Up next for deer hunting in Missouri is the alternative methods portion, which will run Dec. 23- Jan. 2, 2018.

Get more information on deer hunting in Missouri through MDC’s free 2017 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet available where permits are sold, from MDC regional offices and nature centers, and online at


SIC Archery team wins gold

Fri, November 17, 2017

Emmanuel College in Georgia finished in second place with three gold medals, while Hocking College in Ohio and Mississippi College tied for third with two gold medals each.

Division I varsity teams as far away as Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mississippi, Michigan, and West Virginia competed over a grueling two-day period in the hunt for individual and team medals in various divisions, including bow hunter, compound, Olympic recurve, and bare bow. In addition to its four gold medals, Southeastern won a silver and a bronze.

Eli Bond from Thompsonville, Illinois won gold medalist honors in the men’s bow hunter division, ranking him #1 in the nation in USA Archery 3D collegiate competition. Stephani Poe from Arthur, Illinois captured the gold medal in the women’s compound division, securing her #1 national collegiate ranking.

Rounding out SIC’s gold medal count were the men’s bow hunter team of Eli Bond, Hunter Chowning from Covington, Indiana, and Matt Horton from Thompsonville and the men’s compound team of John and Tristan Whalen from Boonville, Indiana and Stephani Poe, who qualified to shoot on the men’s team under USA Archery rules.

The mixed compound team of John Whalen and Stephani Poe won a silver medal, while Whalen finished in third place in men’s compound for the bronze.

SIC head archery coach Alli Armstrong was elated.

“I think the US Collegiate Archery (USCA) national tournament earlier in the month was a wakeup call for our shooters,” said Armstrong. “We knew we could compete at a high level against the best college teams in the country, and we did just that at the USA Archery Nationals in Foley.”

Especially satisfying to the Falcons, and in particular to Eli Bond, was that he defeated the #1 ranked USCA bow hunter in the nation, James Childress from Hocking College. Bond finished with a score of 410 to Childress’ 390.

Southeastern’s president, Dr. Jonah Rice, had similar accolades for the team.

“We are so proud of the amazing accomplishments of our championship archery team. As a national leader in collegiate archery, our team and coaches consistently defy the odds in bringing home the gold. They are a legacy in the making,” said Rice.

Armstrong noted that Norris City’s Bradford Sauls, who won the gold medal in men’s compound for Mississippi College, is a past member of Southeastern’s archery team, as is Emmanuel’s gold medalist in women’s bow hunter, Katie Davies from Marion, Kentucky.

Universities and colleges competing in this year’s USA Archery 3D Collegiate Nationals included Alfred State College (New York); Mississippi College; Georgia Institute of Technology; Hocking College (Ohio); Emmanuel College (Georgia); Appalachian State University (North Carolina); Pennsylvania College of Technology; Michigan State University; West Virginia University; Lamar University (Texas); James Madison University (Virginia); and Augusta University (Georgia).

USA Archery is the national governing body for the Olympic sport of archery and is the organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee for the purpose of selecting and training men’s and women’s teams to represent the U.S. in the Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan American Games. USA Archery also selects teams for World Championships, World Cups, and other international competitions annually.

For more information on SIC’s Archery program and the new Indoor Archery Center, which is now open to the public, please visit


2017 Gold Medal Archery Team

SIC’s gold medal archery team at 2017 USA Archery 3D Collegiate National Championships in Foley, Alabama, included (l-r) Matt Horton, Thompsonville; Eli Bond, Thompsonville; Hunter Chowning, Covington, Indiana; Will Taylor, Covington, Indiana; Stephani Poe, Arthur, Illinois; John Whalen, Boonville, Indiana; and Tristan, Whalen, Boonville, Indiana.

2017 gold metal archery team

2017 Men’s Bow Hunter Champions

SIC’s gold medal men’s bow hunter team, flanked by Hocking College on the left and Emmanuel College on the right, consisted of (l-r) Eli Bond of Thompsonville, Matt Horton of Thompsonville, and Hunter Chowning from Covington, Indiana.  Bond also won the individual gold in men’s bow hunter, making him USA Archery’s #1 ranked collegiate bow hunter in the nation.

2017 mens bow hunter champions

2017 Men’s Compound Champions

SIC’s gold medal men’s compound team, flanked by Mississippi College on the left and Hocking College on the right, consisted of (l-r) Tristan Whalen of Boonville, Indiana; John Whalen of Boonville, Indiana; and Stephani Poe from Arthur, Illinois. Poe also won the individual gold in women’s compound, making her USA Archery #1 ranked collegiate compound shooter in the nation.

mens compound champion


COMLARA Park/ Evergreen Lake will be closed

Thu, November 09, 2017

Nov. 17-19 & Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2017.  ALL of the Park and Lake will be closed with the exception of the front section of the Campground for camping and Campground Cove & The Pumphouse for shoreline fishermen.  Thank you for your cooperation.


Temporary Recreation Area Closings at Lake Shelbyville

Wed, November 08, 2017

The hunt will be conducted in portions of recreation areas at Lake Shelbyville that are closed for the season. As a safety precaution, Lone Point and Lithia Springs Campgrounds and all of Sullivan Beach, Wilborn Creek, Coon Creek, and Opossum Creek Recreation Areas will be closed to all automobile and pedestrian traffic from 2:00 p.m. Thursday, November 16, 2017 to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, November 19, 2017.

This temporary closing includes boat ramps located within Wilborn Creek, Coon Creek, and Opossum Creek Recreation Areas. Boat ramps remaining open to serve lake users during this time period are Bo Wood, Dam West, Lone Point, Lithia Springs, Whitley Creek, Wolf Creek and Eagle Creek State Parks. All primitive ramps will remain open as well.

For more information contact Lake Shelbyville Natural Resource Specialist Cory Donnel at (217) 774-3951 Ext: 7001.